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The coronavirus on Smart Talk Wednesday: Insurance questions answered and Pa. state universities at a turning point

  • Scott LaMar
Shown is West Chester University in West Chester, Pa., Friday, May 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

 AP Photo / Matt Rourke

Shown is West Chester University in West Chester, Pa., Friday, May 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities were facing major financial challenges before the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the schools to online classes only, but the coronavirus outbreak has made the institutions’ situation even more dire.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s 14 universities are projected to lose up to $100 million as a result of the spring semester being shut down.

Declining enrollments at the schools and stagnant state funding created financial hardship for the system.

Reform plans were underway but may now have to be accelerated.

The Chancellor of PASSHE, Dan Greenstein is on Wednesday’s Smart Talk to explain.

Also, many Pennsylvanians have questions about health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who have been diagnosed with the virus and are being treated are also concerned about paying their medical bills while those who haven’t contracted the coronavirus hope their insurance is strong enough if they do come down with the illness.

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman is on Wednesday’s Smart Talk to answer health insurance questions.

Consumer services hotline for questions or issues relating to insurance is 1-877-881-6388. Consumers can also visit the Pennsylvania Insurance Department for information.

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